(I didn't have room to list ALL of the alternative services in the subject line)
When we made the decision to implement cloud sync, (and developed an algorithm that would let us do it), we needed to pick a service provider that was:
* Ubiquitous (lots of people already use it)
* Well known
* Easy to work with as programmers from the desktops and the mobile devices
* Easy to work with for our users
* Great in many other boring technical ways
Dropbox was the obvious choice. (More on that below)
That being said, if you only want to sync between desktops (Mac and PC), you can use any file-based sync service you want
. Heck, you can put the files on a shared network drive and open them from multiple PCs. We wrote it specifically so that the desktops wouldn't care what service you're using.
However, if you want the iPhone and Android apps to cloud sync, you will need to use Dropbox. That's the service they need to speak to.
Q: Why not Google Drive or iCloud?
A: Well, Google Drive and iCloud didn't really exist when we started working on Cloud Sync. For others, see the reasons above.
Q: Why not support more than one service?
1) It's complicated. (We like to keep things simple. )
2) It's expensive in terms of time/support. On the desktop, it's pretty easy for us to support another file sync service, but the mobile apps have to know how to talk directly to the sync service, and every sync service has a different "API," or language they speak. It's complicated enough getting one of them right.
Q: I don't trust Dropbox. This other service is more secure.
A: Dropbox is secure. You can read more about Dropbox security here
. They have addressed the lapses they had in the past, and they are now trusted more than any other 3rd party service.
* They save over 1 billion files every 48 hours
* Over 50 million people trust dropbox with their data
* It's installed on 250 million devices.source
Q: But I disagree with your assessment and don't trust Dropbox
A: As I mentioned above, you can use any other another file sync service to keep your Mac and Windows machines in sync. You just won't get cloud sync with the iPhone or Android.
Q: What data is stored in my file?
A: Obviously, YNAB stores what you put in it, so if you type the location of the buried treasure in a memo or note field, that goes in there. However, we aren't storing bank account numbers and the like without encryption. If you import from your bank, YNAB does need to remember some bank account info so it can remember which account you imported your bank file to, but when it does that, it encrypts the number before storing it. (For you knowledgeable types, it's hashing it with a unique salt). It will obviously be a personal decision on whether or not to use the cloud. We just didn't want you to get the impression that your YNAB data was a sea of bank account numbers.
Q: I don't trust the cloud at all. I don't want Cloud Sync!
A: As Jesse said in another thread, "people have varying degrees of comfort with the data they put in the cloud, and what they keep local. This is why we've made Cloud Sync optional from the get-go. Some people store everything under the sun, all in the cloud. Others wouldn't want one shred of data stored there. It's a personal choice that we're leaving to each user."
Q: But what if I don't have Dropbox? How do I do this? Do I need to get it now?
A: Don't worry. The software walks you through all of that. It's really easy.
Q: Will you expand support for other services in the future?
A: Honestly, we are more interested in hosting cloud sync ourselves, as that would make things even easier for our users and give us more flexibility in the future.
Note: For more general information about cloud sync features, please see my other post: A few more details on cloud sync